Metabolic syndrome is constellation of metabolic factors that directly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. This condition is also called syndrome X. Metabolic syndrome is an escalating public health problem around the world because of urbanization, increasing obesity and sedentary lifestyle. In recent years at least one out of five Americans is known to suffer from metabolic syndrome. This catastrophic condition increases among people with growing age. It affects at least 30 to 40 percent of people with age of 60 and above.
Metabolic syndrome was first described in early nineties by a Swedish physician.Later on it was referred by various other names such as insulin resistance syndrome, syndrome X etc as its characteristic defining features became clearer. Even if metabolic syndrome is a serious condition, the risk associated with it can be reduced by practicing healthy lifestyle. Let us know the defining features of metabolic syndrome.
What Are The Defining Features Of Metabolic Syndrome?
A person is said to suffer from metabolic syndrome when he has combination of following deadly quartet;
- Waistline more than 40 inches for men and 35 inches or more in women.
- Systolic blood pressure higher than 130 mm of hg or a person taking anti-hypertensive medicines.
- High triglyceride level (more than 150 mg/dl).
- HDL less than 40 mg/dl.
- Fasting blood sugar more than 100 mg/dl.
Generally the symptoms of metabolic syndrome are not apparent. They are not noticeable as other diseases. The medical conditions which are associated with metabolic syndrome develop over a period of time.
These symptoms may indicate a person having metabolic symptoms. Person is obese especially around the waist and abdomen. His systolic and diastolic blood pressure is high. High triglyceride and high HDL level is recognized with blood test. Fasting blood sugar level is more than 100mg/dl.
What Causes Metabolic Syndrome?
The exact cause of metabolic syndrome is not known. However, many of its features have an association with insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone secreted by pancreas. Its main purpose is to keep balance of glucose in the body.
The body cells take glucose as energy source with the help of insulin. However, when body cells fail to recognize insulin, glucose starts accumulating in the blood. But at the same time pancreas produce more insulin because the brain thinks cells require insulin in order to absorb glucose. This complete phenomenon is called insulin resistance.
Risk factors that may lead to metabolic syndrome are family history, increased childhood obesity, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fatty liver disease etc. People living unhealthy lifestyle often fall prey to metabolic syndrome. Eating unhealthy food, reduced physical activity, obesity, interrupted sleep (sleep apnea) are some of the trigger that may gradually lead to metabolic syndrome.
Treatment Guidelines For Metabolic Syndrome
Patient suffering from metabolic syndrome has increased risk of heart attack, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and chronic kidney disease. There are several lifestyle factors that can be modified to reduce the risk associated with metabolic syndrome. Since the condition has increased risk in obese people, especially those having increased waistline, priority must be given to reduce weight and subsequently the waist or abdominal fat.
Patient must become more active physically. He must at least walk for 45 minutes in a day. He may also do workouts and other physical activities such as cycling, swimming etc. This will help to keep his blood sugar under control. Yoga and meditation will help to keep body and mind calm. In a long run it will help to lower high blood pressure.
Patient must eat healthy food and avoid eating foods that are high in saturated fats. He must avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Besides all the lifestyle corrective measures, the next step is to take medicines for controlling high blood pressure and diabetes as well as lowering triglyceride and cholesterol level.